Thursday, October 11, 2012

EXCERPTS FROM THE HOLY FATHER'S MASS THIS MORNING ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OPENING OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

This video is from 2 years ago:


MY COMMENT FIRST: The only comment I can make to what the Holy Father says below is, "right-on Holy Father" and may the reform of the Church within the hermeneutic of continuity with our glorious past come about by actually and literally implementing the documents of Vatican II in light of the needs of the Church in the modern world of today, not 1962.

From the Holy Father's Homily, October 11, 2012:

..."Vatican Council II did not wish to deal with the theme of faith in one specific document. It was, however, animated by a desire, as it were, to immerse itself anew in the Christian mystery so as to re-propose it fruitfully to contemporary man. ... In his opening speech Blessed John XXIII presented the principal purpose of the Council in this way: “What above all concerns the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be safeguarded and taught more effectively. … Therefore, the principal purpose of this Council is not the discussion of this or that doctrinal theme, a Council is not required for that, ... [but] this certain and immutable doctrine, which is to be faithfully respected, needs to be explored and presented in a way which responds to the needs of our time”.

..."In the light of these words, we can understand what I myself felt at the time: during the Council there was an emotional tension as we faced the common task of making the truth and beauty of the faith shine out in our time, without sacrificing it to the demands of the present or leaving it tied to the past: the eternal presence of God resounds in the faith, transcending time, yet it can only be welcomed by us in our own unrepeatable today. Therefore I believe that the most important thing ... is to revive in the whole Church that positive tension, that yearning to announce Christ again to contemporary man. But, so that this interior thrust towards the new evangelisation neither remain just an idea nor be lost in confusion, ... I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the “letter” of the Council - that is to its texts - also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and why I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them".

..."The Council did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient. Rather, it concerned itself with seeing that the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change. ... The Council Fathers wished to present the faith in a meaningful way; and if they opened themselves trustingly to dialogue with the modern world it is because they were certain of their faith, of the solid rock on which they stood. In the years following, however, many embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths."

"The journey is a metaphor for life, and the wise wayfarer is one who has learned the art of living, and can share it with his brethren - as happens to pilgrims along the Way of St. James or similar routes which, not by chance, have again become popular in recent years. How come so many people today feel the need to make these journeys? Is it not because they find there, or at least intuit, the meaning of our existence in the world? This, then, is how we can picture the Year of Faith: a pilgrimage in the deserts of today’s world, taking with us only what is necessary: ... the Gospel and the faith of the Church, of which the Council documents are a luminous expression, as is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published twenty years ago."

7 comments:

Marc said...

This Year of Faith could turn out to be more important than Vatican II itself.

In fact, I pray that is the case. I'm eager to read the Holy Father's encyclical on Faith (which is surely coming this year since he's written on hope and love already).

Anonymous 5 said...

I'm missing something. Why are we having all these special events to commemorate VII?

Why aren't we commemorating Vatican I? Or Trent? or Nicea? Why aren't we commemorating Ineffabilis Deus or even Munificentissimus Deus?

What we're seeing here is a cult of elevating an event for the simple (and fallacious) reason that it's recent and thus more important than other events that are (objectively speaking) at least as important. It shows that the people who organized this commemoration have fallen into the error (and perhaps it is a theological error) of what I call temporal provincialism--that our generation knows more, is smarter, is wiser, is more relevant to the human experience, than all earlier generations: that our generation's accomplishments dwarf those of earlier benighted generations. It's also a sign that the hierarchy continues to flirt with the heresy of conciliarism.

It also shows that with bad liturgy and rampant liturgical abuse, catastrophically declined Mass attendance, abysmally short Confession lines, a tidal wave of worldliness inundating the Faithful, devastated Catholic culture (I, a so-called convert, had to teach a family of churchgoing cradle Catholics how to pray the Rosary earlier this year), and a crisis in vocations, the hierarchy is doubling down and still proclaiming that VII was a Good Thing.

This is an object lesson why our only hope (and it is a weak one, absent a revolution) lies in the assertion that it takes a century for a council to be implemented correctly. Anyone who is conscious of being shaped by a council has to be dead before the Church can move on and see that council as an antique event. Only when people have to ask what and when VII was, in the same way they have to ask what and when Vatican I was, will have a chance of moving beyond worship of VII and returning to worship of God.

I will here state I have never attended an SSPX parish. I'm prepared to ride it down in flames. But I will not cease sounding this alarm until I'm officially muzzled, whether people will listen or no.

Respectfully submitted.

Marc said...

Anon5, good points. My hope is the Holy Father is using this "celebration" merely as an opportunity to teach. In other words, I hope the celebration is essentially a sham covering up an excellent opportunity to remake this Council.

I question the importance of celebrating any council considering the role of the Pope appears to now surpass councils in Catholic theology. Perhaps we should be celebrating papal actions instead.

I was surprised by this mornings Vatican Information Services report that had an extended quote from Bartholemew I, Patriarch of Constantinople, who was present for the opening of the Year of Faith. He lauds the new VII understanding of collegiality and ecclesiology (which downplayed the role of the Pope). I urge you to read his remarks as it is quite interesting to see what he sees as positive about the Council. He goes so far as to use the phrase "sister Churches", which VII used (I believe) but which the Orthodox typically do not use because they see the Roman Church as heretical and, therefore, no longer part of the Apostolic Succession.

Disclaimer - Typos due to commenting via iPhone.

Marc said...

I'll add: the Orthodox, in fact, do exactly as Anon5 suggests - their liturgical year includes Sundays where the Councils are celebrated. There is also a Sunday of Orthodoxy on which all the heresies are read individually and everyone responds, "Anathema!"

I don't recall every hearing the word "heresy" in a Catholic priest's homily, much less the word "anathema". Although, we did get a nice homily a couple weeks ago on the goodness of indiferentism (that was from a deacon, though).

Gene said...

I agree with Anon 5 and share Marc's dismay at what comes(and does not come) from homilies these days. As far as this "celebration" of Vat II, we may as well celebrate October 31,1517 and Luther's posting of the 95 Theses. These had a lot to say about Popes and Councils, as well.

Henry Edwards said...

It seems interesting that Pope Benedict today used EP IV for the first time at a papal Mass (to my knowledge).

On the one hand, EP IV may be more "evangelical" than the other EPs. On the other hand is seems less sacrificial than them--other than the quickie EP II that may remind one of a quickie consecration on the hood of a jeep under battle fire.

Marc said...

Why a Year of Faith? Here is the Holy Father's answer:

"If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelization, it is not to honour an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago!"

He then goes on to discuss what he calls the "desertification" and "void" of spirituality in the world since the Council. The whole homily is a discussion of the necessity of relying on actual texts (presumably read thru the hermeneutic he has previously suggested).

I believe the Holy Father intends to firmly take hold of the rudder on the Arc of Peter in this Year of Faith!